Today I know the gentle tug of God’s Spirit, the tender woo of his presence, the invitation to look him in the eye and enjoy his friendship. I’ve spent myself in his service, and now I’m sensing his smile, his blessing, and a magically hushed stroll holding his hand through green pastures. In a valley is a large pond, still as glass. He makes me lie down. Here he will restore me.

He takes my bloody elbow and washes it with a soft cloth, like a mother doting on her brave little boy who rode without training wheels for the first time and paid for it dearly; like a father swelling with silent pride that I made it as far as I did on my first try. “You did good, son. Really good.”

I receive that, daddy. Thank you. I love you too.

As sunshine warms me, a cloud steps in front of it. My mind wanders. I’m tempted to panic at the big hill waiting for me just outside of this valley, the giant of a to-do list mocking me with its unyielding iron and fury. Daddy puts his finger to my lips, presses my shoulder, doesn’t let me get up just yet. “Shhh,” he says firmly. “Just relax. We’ll get at him tomorrow. He’ll still be there when we’re done, bellowing and brash. But let it go for today. Today, just be mine.”